NBA GM’s in annual survey predict Lakers to win Western Conference

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NBA GM’s in annual survey predict Lakers to win Western Conference
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The Los Angeles Lakers have 11 new faces on the roster going into next season, and that doesn’t include the two-way players and training camp deals.

After last season’s disappointing first-round playoff exit, the Lakers recognized the roster needed serious revamping to contend the following year.

L.A. acquired Russell Westbrook in its biggest transaction over the summer. Talen Horton-Tucker re-signed on a lucrative three-year deal worth over $30 million, and Kendrick Nunn signed for the full taxpayer MLE.

Then, L.A. used the veteran minimum to pick up players like Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Rajon Rondo and Kent Bazemore.

Adding these players alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis has general managers around the league impressed. In the 2021-22 NBA GM survey, general managers voted the Lakers as the team to win the Western Conference.

The Lakers received 80% of the first-place votes, 7% of second place, zero for third and 4% for fourth. In total, 34% of the votes went to L.A., which topped the 26% of votes accumulated by the Utah Jazz, which finished second.

Last season, the Lakers got 86% of the first-place votes and were picked to win it all, but injuries to key players derailed those chances.